Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, 'I'll pray for them later.'?Or has anyone ever called you and said, 'I need you to pray for me, I have this need.'? The following story may change the way you think about prayer.
The Power of Prayer
A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan.....'While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.
On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.
Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.
Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, 'Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight.
We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.
At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, 'No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.''
At this point in his story, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day, and time, this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:
'On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you.”
“Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?'
The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26.
A very poorly dressed woman with a look of defeat on her face walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.
The grocer scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.
Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."
He told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.
The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"
"Yes sir, I do. Here it is."
"O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."
The lady hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."
The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.
Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands."
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. The woman thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "It was worth every penny of it."
It was some time later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.